It’s official – arguably the only event of it’s kind in the country (oh heck, let’s just go big and say the only one in the WORLD), the 2nd Annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop has been announced for Saturday, July 23, 2011. The event, a production of the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative, an project started and funded by MASM), will be held at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (a beautiful northern suburb of Detroit).
This year the speaker lineup has gone from two speakers to five, with Matt Wittenrich (Marine Breeder’s Bible author and MASNA 2010 Aquarist of the Year), Todd Gardner (most recently known as Mr. Liopropoma, and aquarist at Atlantis Marine World), Randy Reed (the frontman for the company that POWNED the frozen algae paste market in 2010), Jay Hemdal (40 year veteran of aquariums, AZA Victorian Cichlid studbook keeper and much more) and myself (Matt Pedersen). Last year, Matt Wittenrich gave a truly insightful presentation called “The Modern Fish Breeder” where he gave context and understanding to many of the tricks we see working, but don’t really know why, and if I remember correctly, I gave my “Rethinking the Harlequin Filefish” talk where I covered the husbandry and breeding of the species. Topics for 2011 have not been announce yet, but you can be sure that they’re going to be exciting and relevant to captive propagation of marine fish and invertebrates.
While you may think the main attraction is the speakers and the talks they give, it’s not. What is really, truly special about the MBI Workshop, is that marine breeders from all across the country will be gathering for this event. With marine breeding as a hobby still in its infancy, this is the one time in 2011 you can guarantee that the people sitting next to you share a very common interest, and you may even meet people who don’t have the time in their daily professions to interact online. Don’t let the breeder-specific content scare you off either…this is a great opportunity to learn about breeding if you’ve just been thinking about it as something new or different to try as an aquarist.
The price of admission to the MBI Breeder’s Workshop is a very modest $20 if you purchase before June 24th (it’s $30 after then, and $35 at the door) – that’s $4 per speaker. The summer timing should prevent conflicts with most reef-related events that are more typically run in any season but summer. The one day event, and the location near Detroit, makes for easy travel arrangements as well – you won’t be missing talks on Sunday so you can rush home from the weekend. I can speak from personal experience that I always look forward to returning to the Cranbrook Campus, and this time will be no exception. The MASM members and area reefers always put on a great event, so I’d strongly encourage you all to support this effort to promote captive propagation of marine fishes and inverts (beyond fragging corals) in our hobby and institutional settings.
Advanced tickets for the Marine Breeding Initiative Workshop can be purchased through the MASM website (you need to register in order to make your purchase).